North Carolina Kindergartner Cleans Up the Streets with War on Trash
On August 10 with the help of several adults, five year old Tabitha (Tabby) cheerfully helped clean up the main street of Fuquay-Varina on a Trash Walk.
Tabitha Manriquez is a child on a mission. A green mission. A mission that not only makes North Carolina greener, but also teaches us all a valuable lesson. Her lofty goal — begin by cleaning up her home town of Fuquay-Varina, then its on to Raleigh, and eventually the world!
A naturalist at the tender age of 5, with a love and respect for all things outdoors, she keeps a sharp eye focused for spotting the many indigenous insect, herb, plant, and wildlife so bountiful in our beautiful state.
It was during one of her frequent outings that she first spotted something not so natural… TRASH!
Tabby Begins Her War on Trash
Tabby, her twin sister, Gabrielle (Gabby), her brother Santiago and mother frequently take walks around Fuquay-Varina. Tabby, first noticed the cigarette butts and little pieces of trash the average person might not have seen earlier this year.
So on future walks she began, armed with little pink sock gloves and a plastic bag, to pick up the little pieces of trash that land on the side streets and often the main street of the town.
Raleigh Needs Cleaning Up Too
On driving through Raleigh, she noticed people throwing cigarette butts out at the intersections and remarked to her mother that something should be done. She began to pursue, with the support of her parents, Rachel and Carlos Manriquez, a mission to make a difference in the appearance of not just her town, but of Raleigh too. Her parents set up an appointment for her to talk to senators in the capital building. She showed them her “No Littering” and “No Smoking” signs and a letter she wrote.
Efforts Begin for Trash Walk
Next she visited Fuquay-Varina’s town hall and spoke with Mayor John Byrne, Town Commissioner Ed Ridpath and was given encouragement and assistance in planning a Trash Walk. Naomi Riley of the Downtown Association helped organize the event with Gabby, her parents and the police department.
First Trash Walk of Fuquay-Varina
So last Saturday, about 40 people gathered at “Stickboy.” Instructions were given, mothers and their children, couples, town dignitaries, and family members with gloves and trash bags proceeded to walk around Main Street, Fuquay-Varina, as well as the first on either side parallel to Main Street. Small bits of paper, including cigarette butts, often caught in the grate around the street trees and also found in the parking lots were picked up and bagged.
Next Goal in Mind
What an event for a five year old to start! The streets are cleaner, and hopefully there is more awareness of how important it is to clean up our own litter. Tabitha has another goal in mind. She wants recycling bins on street corners that now only have trash cans, and bins for cigarette waste as well. We’ll have to see what happens next. I feel sure something will be done!